Samoa
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Western Christian

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Protestant (incl. Anglican, Pentecostal) (62.4%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Samoa Polynesia World
Christian (all denominations combined) 98.8% 92.8% 29.9%
 
  • Protestant
  • 42.6% 42.4% 5.6%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 19.6% 7.7% 2.8%
     
  • Catholic
  • 19.2% 28.3% 15%
     
  • Anglican
  • 0.2% 0.2% 1.2%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 17.2% 14.3% 2.3%
    Bahai 0.5% 0.5% 0.1%
    Other Religionist 0.1% 0.3% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 0.6% 2.5% 12%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 1,133 square miles and a population of 188,000. There are two main islands and seven islets in the group, with the majority of the population residing on the island of Upolu, where Apia, the capital, is located. The 2006 census revealed the following distribution of major religious groups: Congregational Christian, 33.6 percent; Roman Catholic, 19.4 percent; Methodist 14.3 percent; the Church of Jesus Christ Latter- day Saints (Mormons), 13.2 percent; Assemblies of God, 6.9 percent; and Seventh-day Adventist, 3.5 percent. Groups that together constitute less than 5 percent of the population include Jehovah's Witnesses, Congregational Church of Jesus, Nazarene, nondenominational Protestant, Baptist, Worship Centre, Peace Chapel, Samoa Evangelism, Elim Church, and Anglican. A comparison of the 2001 and 2006 censuses shows a slight decline in the membership of most major denominations and an increase in participation in nontraditional and evangelical groups.

    Although there is no official data, it is generally believed that there are also some practicing Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and Jews in the country, primarily in the capital city. The country has one of the world's seven Baha'i Houses of Worship.

    All religious groups are multiethnic; none is exclusively comprised of foreign nationals or native-born (Western) Samoans. There are no sizable foreign national or immigrant groups, with the exception of U.S. nationals from American Samoa.

    Religious observance remains high throughout the country. There is strong societal pressure at the village and local level to participate in church services and other activities and to financially support church leaders and projects. In some denominations, such financial contributions often total more than 30 percent of family income.


    Sources

    1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    3.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

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